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At IFA 2023, HONOR garnered interest with two foldable devices, the HONOR Magic V Purse and the HONOR Magic V2. While the former is a concept device, the latter is readily available and pushes the boundaries of what we've seen in terms of build, especially for book-type folding phones, making it an exciting contender for those who want to buy into the range of devices.

But are looks enough for the HONOR Magic V2 to grab attention, or does it do better elsewhere and hold its own against the market-leading Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5? Here, we compare the hardware on these two devices to find out.

HONOR Magic V2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Technical Specifications

  • pbi-honor-magic-v2
    Honor Magic V2
    A Thin Foldable

    SoC
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
    RAM
    16GB
    Storage
    256GB, 512GB, 1TB
    Battery
    5000 mAh
    Ports
    USB-C
    Operating System
    Android 13
    Front camera
    16 MP camera (one on each screen)
    Dimensions
    156.7 x 145.4 x 4.7mm (unfolded); 156.7 x 74.1mm x 9.9mm (folded)
    Colors
    Black, Silk Black, Silk Purple, Gold
    Weight
    231g
    Charging
    66W (wired)
  • pbi-samsung-galaxy-z-fold-5
    Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
    An Optimized Option

    SoC
    Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
    RAM
    12GB
    Storage
    256GB, 512GB, 1TB
    Battery
    4,400 mAh
    Ports
    USB Type-C
    Operating System
    One UI 5.1.1 based on Android 13
    Front camera
    Cover: 10MP, f/2.2, 123-degree FOV, UD: 4MP, f/1.8, 80-degree FOV
    Dimensions
    Folded: 154.9 x 67 x 13.5mm, Unfolded: 154.9 x 129.8 x 6.1mm
    Colors
    Phantom Black, Cream, Icy Blue, Blue, Gray
    Weight
    252 g (8.92 oz)
    Charging
    25W wired, Fast Wireless charging, Reverse wireless charging

HONOR Magic V2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Design & Build

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The HONOR Magic V2 is one of the few thin folding phones available in the market, measuring only 9.9 mm when folded and 4.7 mm when unfolded. Putting it in perspective of traditional phones, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is 8.9 mm thick while the iPhone 14 Pro Max is 7.85mm. When you put it against these two, you'll notice that HONOR isn't far off the standard.

Other aspects of the device are also quite well-designed. It has a wide enough front display, one comfortable for daily use. The unfolding experience is also improved on the HONOR Magic V2 thanks to the redesigned titanium hinge — it now features the ability to stop at several points, just like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

When it comes to the Samsung, a lot has stayed the same since we last saw it pull the covers off its productivity-based Galaxy Fold device at an Unpacked Event. But there are some improvements. Samsung has shaved off some millimeters in development, and its hinge is further improved, allowing the phone to fold shut rather than leave open the little crevice seen in previous generations.

HONOR Magic V2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Display

magic v2 hands-on 1

Moving onto the specifics of the displays. The HONOR Magic V2 comes with a 6.43-inch LTPO OLED panel on the outside, whereas on the inner side is a 7.92-inch LTPO OLED.

The 6.43-inch (1060 x 2376) panel has 2,500 nits of peak brightness and a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes using the phone quite enjoyable. When you unfold it, the 7.92-inch (2156 x 2344) LTPO OLED will open up a canvas that can hit a peak brightness of 1,600 nits and, like the external display, refreshes at 120Hz. For the first time in HONOR's case, both screens on the foldable also feature stylus support.

samsung-galaxy-z-fold-5-hero-45
Pocketnow / Adam Z. Lein

On the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, the external panel is narrower and measures 6.2 inches. Upon unfolding, you'll see a 7.6-inch display. Samsung uses its proprietary Dynamic AMOLED 2X display technology here, but what you need to know is that it's an AMOLED panel with great color reproduction; nevertheless, the HONOR compares just fine against it.

Getting into the nitty-gritty details of the Galaxy Z Fold 5, both the outer cover screen and inner screen refresh at 120Hz (adaptive), plus they support a similar 1,750 nits maximum brightness. The parity that Samsung maintains here really adds to the experience, and we appreciate it. The resolution for these displays remains in line with the previous generation, 904 x 2316 on the cover screen and 1812 x 2176 on the inner one. This display also maintains its S Pen support on both panels for another year.

HONOR Magic V2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Performance and Battery

samsung-galaxy-z-fold-5-hero-42
Pocketnow / Adam Z. Lein

The HONOR Magic V2 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 ship with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the presence of this processor means that either device will tackle any work stream you throw at them with relative ease. Whether jumping between multiple apps or running a combination of small windows, you won't feel a hiccup as long as the software experience is optimized.

But when it comes to the RAM on offer, the HONOR Magic V2 does outdo the Samsung by a bit, shipping with 16GB on board, while the Samsung comes with 12 GB. Though for storage, the devices go toe to toe with options ranging from 256GB to 1TB.

As for battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is outmatched by the HONOR Magic V2. The latter ships with a 5,000 mAh in its slim chassis, while the former only manages to fit a 4,400 mAh one. HONOR's Silicon-Carbon battery technology is the reason behind this key difference.

And when you choose to charge either device, the HONOR Magic V2 once again holds an advantage due to its 66W wired charging. The missing support for wireless charging is a bummer, but we think many won't miss the feature. On the Galaxy Z Fold 5, wired charging tops out at 25W, though 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging support are present.

HONOR Magic V2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Camera

HONOR Magic V2 Camera
Source: HONOR

While cameras might not be the primary selling point for folding phones, they are an important part of the hardware on offer. On the HONOR Magic V2, we see a triple camera setup headlined by a 50-megapixel, f/2.0 primary camera. In support are a 50-megapixel, f/2.0 ultrawide camera, and a 20-megapixel, f/2.4 telephoto lens with 2.5x optical zoom. The front-facing camera (both internal and external) uses a 16-megapixel f/2.2 lens.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 also has a 50-megapixel, f/1.8 primary sensor with OIS and Dual Pixel AF. And playing the supporting role is a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 10-megapixel, f2.4 telephoto shooter, capable of 3x optical zoom and 30x Space Zoom. The selfie cameras, present on the outside and under the display on the inside, are quite different. The one on the cover display is a 10-megapixel f/2.2 shooter, while the one under the screen is a 4-megapixel, f/1.8 option.

HONOR Magic V2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Which should you buy?

If you're a user who values a refined set of cameras and software experience that has improved steadily with time, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the device to pick. It's bag of tricks makes the large 7.6-inch unfolded screen a nice playground for tackling tasks!

But if you want to enjoy using your folding phone as a traditional device and then expand its capabilities occasionally, the HONOR Magic V2 might be more up your alley. Not to forget, in regions where it is available, the device is significantly cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

  • pbi-honor-magic-v2
    Honor Magic V2

    The Honor Magic V2 is the thinnest and lightest foldable phone on the market. The Magic V2 has a large 7.92-inch inner foldable display and a 6.43-inch cover display. It also features a triple camera array and runs on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.

  • pbi-samsung-galaxy-z-fold-5
    Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

    The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the latest foldable flagship in the lineup. It's equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a powerful triple rear camera, a large 6.2-inch cover and 7.6-inch main display, and a large battery that can last all day on a single charge.